- Reviewed By Priyanka Bhattacharjee, she is a licensed and practising Clinical Psychologist based in India who has been working very closely with a variety of mental health issues across different age groups for the past 7 years. Working for the cause of mental health is her passion, and she primarily advocates for primary prevention and early intervention. Her professional interests include diagnosis and therapy for Addiction, Personality Disorders, Mood and Affective Disorders, Children and Adolescents Mental Health, Couple Intervention, and Workplace Mental Health issues.
One of many questions that arise is, does female masturbation causes any hormone levels imbalances, or does it affect health-wise? Read this article to know more.
What is female masturbation?
Masturbation, or female masturbation in particular, is the self-stimulation of the genitals using fingers or toys for stimulation; the vulva is the external part of the female genitalia (most commonly and inaccurately called the vagina), the clitoris or the seat of all female pleasure, as I’d like to call it and the vaginal opening through which fingering and commonly penetrative sex is experienced.
Now that we have a common understanding of the scientific definition of female masturbation let’s get into the nitty-gritty!
Female masturbation was long ago considered a taboo and even a mental illness at one point, but don’t be frightened this was due to a lack of studies and research conducted on sex and sexual experiences.
Female Masturbation and Sexual Wellness
One study shows that among females, 43.3% of 14-year-olds have experienced masturbation and later on the percentage did not change until the age of 17 years where it was found to be 58%. This shows that a huge portion of women do not masturbate and some do.
Some people do not masturbate and that is completely normal and natural and others do, it all depends on personal preference and libido (sexual drive). The frequency in which you masturbate also varies and it is totally normal, just be mindful not to get carried away with it.
This taboo caused a sense of deep-rooted guilt and shame among women who masturbate. Sometimes to open your sexual journey to wellness and reproductive health, there has to be a release of this systemic guilt placed on women’s pleasure.
Nowadays, female masturbation is seen as a quick fix to many issues. Sexologists and many doctors give medical advice to practice female masturbation. Let’s break that down, shall we?
On days when you are not quite feeling the best, and all you do is worry and stress out, masturbating might help reduce stress. It gives a feeling of euphoria, a rush of emotions, and a wave of peace and relaxation; it sounds like a vacation, doesn’t it?
Quick facts on masturbation:
- It releases the feel-good trio of hormones: Dopamine (reward hormone), Serotonin (happy hormone) and Oxytocin (love hormone)
- It causes an increased heart rate and blood rushes to the female genitals that causes the clitoris and the vulva to enlarge.
- The clitoris has more than 8000 nerve endings! That’s double the number of nerve endings found in a penis.
Post-masturbation most people, both men and women describe this sort of mental clarity and a sense of peace and relaxation. The body relaxes completely and this is due to the hormone ‘oxytocin’ which is released. Now this feeling can definitely put off to sleep. Women have observed that they have deeper, undisturbed sleep after masturbation.
How on earth do you start your sexual journey without any prior experience? A good place to start would be masturbation. You start to understand your preferences and your likes and dislikes.
Self-pleasure is a way to learn and understand the way your body works. It can even help with building physical and sexual intimacy with your partner as you learn you can effectively communicate your wants and boundaries.
Oh boy! Now, this is a big one, it can relieve cramps!
During menstruation, women tend to experience abdominal cramps, which are pretty painful, and sometimes masturbating during your periods can help relieve that stress. You might feel grossed out at first, but a quick clean-up afterwards is all that’s needed.
Does female masturbation cause hormonal imbalance?
The short answer is no; it does not. But further research needs to be conducted to completely understand its effects on the human body.
But you might be thinking, “Wait, aren’t there hormones released and changes that take place during female orgasm?” Yes, their hormones release like dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin, and guess what? Even testosterone (small amounts are normally present in female bodies. It is totally natural.
These hormonal changes are definitely minimal and short-lived,, and they pretty much settle down to the normal rate after masturbation.
Does masturbation cause acne?
The common belief that masturbation causes acne is a total myth. Acne or pimples appear due to either hormonal imbalance or excessive sebum production.
Now you might be confused, but think about this most people tend to get acne during puberty and alongside some of them might indulge in masturbation. We as a society have correlated the two and believe that masturbation causes acne but there is no scientific reason to back it.
Does masturbation affect ovulation and does it cause PCOS?
Ovulation is the release of the egg/ovum from the ovary. The release happens regardless of masturbation or an orgasm. To conceive the egg and the sperm meet and contrary to regular belief, the egg is fertilized outside the uterus, but in the fallopian tube.
Technically masturbation does not affect ovulation as it does not interfere with the release of the egg. But some people experience difficulty in conceive and are unable to ovulate. This might be due to PCOS.
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a hormonal imbalance disorder commonly found in women.
- People with PCOS experience excessive cramping and infrequent periods.
- The ovaries collect fluid to form small follicles that prevent ovum release.
If you are experiencing symptoms of PCOS, it is recommended that you visit an ob gyn near you.
All of these myths are interlinked and so we end up believing that masturbation causes these apparent risks.
Does female masturbation cause weight loss?
Unlike sex, masturbation does not use require a lot of physical movement and a lot less calories are used. This pretty much explains that there isn’t any weight loss as a result of masturbation.
But excessive masturbation can cause rawness of the genitals, irritation, and stress that can take over all parts of your life, so always remember, “Moderation is key”.
Loss of hair and sight??
Again, there is no scientific evidence to show that masturbation can cause hair loss and a loss of sight. Any hair loss or loss or vision is mostly caused by genetic and environmental factors.
All of these prevalent myths point to the fact that sex education is extremely valuable and grossly neglected. I think it’s about time that we implement sex education in school curriculums, don’t you think?
Risks of Masturbation
We always run the risk of doing something excessively and this is the case with masturbation too. Uncontrolled and frequent masturbation can:
- cause rawness and irritation in the clitoris and vagina
- lead to guilt and shame
- interfere with daily activities and even interrupt basic human needs
- lead to excessive use of porn
- create an overall disconnect from the world and the people around.
As always, it is important to maintain your mental health balance all aspects of your life and visit a doctor to learn more about your sexual health.
Let us look into the Most Frequently Asked Questions !
1.What hormones does masturbation release?
Dopamine, Serotonin and Oxytocin are the hormones masturbation release.
2. How many nerve endings are there in the clitoris?
Clitoris has 8000 nerve endings.
3. Why originally did acne occur?
Acne occurs either due to hormonal imbalance or excessive sebum production.
4.What is ovulation?
Ovulation is the release of the egg/ovum from the ovary.
5. What symptoms do people with PCOS have?
People with PCOS show symptoms like excessive cramping and infrequent periods.